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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Ben Barrett)

Quick, the RPS hivemind has retired to a snoozing chamber in London to absorb more knowledge into the glorious whole, so let’s have a party. It’ll be full of blood and guts and dead animals and religious subtexts! Not your sort of party? You probably haven’t played enough Binding of Isaac, the gory 2D roguelike from way back in the mists of time, 2011. It was one of the first in the long line of every-run-is-different action games from the past few years and (particularly with the DLC) is fucking brilliant. Since we last heard from dev Mr. Edmund McMillen, he’s been hard at work on a remake/expansion and putting updates on the game’s blog. The main purpose is to get away from its Flash trappings so it will run acceptably on a larger number of machines, plus allow some console ports. However, there’s also been music, item and enemy reveals, the best of which I’ve hunted down, cried at until they died and hung the corpses of on the wall below.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

Dwarf Fortress is famous for producing anecdotes by the minute. The two-man, twelve-year, donation-funded indie project weaves together procedurally generated geography, civilizations and histories to create a rich fantasy world. It simulates its characters – standard fare like dwarves, elves, goblins, etc. – down to the most minute detail, and when all its systems combine, the results are often hilarious, occasionally tragic, and always surprising.

It’s also blissfully easy to play. The game is free to download and easy to install, the UI comes with a detailed and handy help system, and there’s a community wiki full of guides – not that you’ll need them. I started from scratch last night and was having fun immediately. Let me tell you about my experience.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

What costume shall the poor girl wear?

Splitting Broken Sword: The Serpent’s Curse into two episodes may have helped Revolution Software make good on its plan to release the retro adventure revival in 2013, not to mention earn a few pennies sooner rather than later, but unsurprisingly left it feeling incomplete. Though our crack adventure game mercenary Richard ‘Demo Dick’ Cobbett enjoyed the game, he noted that with this split, “The catch is that as well as splitting the raw story in half, Broken Sword 5 has been thematically halved.” He wasn’t overly thrilled about investigating an insurance claim rather than a supposed supernatural curse, see.

The two halves are now united, as the second episode launched tonight. Hopefully it introduces the devilish thrill Richard felt lacking, and right now he’ll be off with George and Nico larking about with a couple of Satans and a few Draculas or whatever it is he wants. I don’t know, I haven’t played it.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

A castle we might never explore

By now we surely all understand that Kickstarting a game is a bit of a gamble: we rarely have a clear idea of how it’ll turn out, and sometimes if it’ll even be finished. At least Kickstarters have a clear goal to work towards, though, and will only take your money if they hit the sum devs figure will let them finish it. Open-ended crowdfunding is even riskier, as they’ll take your money but may never get enough to finish the game. Which is what has happened to Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen.

The MMORPG headed by former EverQuest lead designer Brad McQuaid has been shaking its own crowdfunding bucket after a Kickstarter campaign fell short, and has now run out of money. It’s hoping it’ll land an investor but the game’s not really going anywhere until hypothetical saviours come along.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

Writing music for an RPG must be such a tricky thing. Especially when you’re working with a project as potentially massive as Obsidian Kickstarter darling Pillars of Eternity, you’ve got to breathe life into lilting melodies that rise and crash at the perfect moments, but drift and meander gently throughout. I mean, these songs are going to be on loop for upwards of 50-60 hours. If one is too loud or too fast or too insistent on taking center stage in an area where the player’s just doing their thing, it can easily break the whole illusion. Fortunately, Obsidian’s got plenty of experience with this conundrum, and it’s debuted a region’s entire song as a proof-of-concept.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

I’ve watched three videos of Grave. The first convinced me that the psychological horror game was precisely my cup of tea, with its shifting scenery and creepy sculptures. That’s the first video I’ve placed below and if you’re anything like me, you’ll probably see some promise in the potential trickery of the narrative voice. I’m reminded of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, one of the great relatively unsung horror games. All three videos are below.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Ben Barrett)

This might be the first anime reference in RPS title-joke history

See the little guy in the bottom left of the header image there, excitedly throwing his arms in the air about bits of (digital) cardboard? That is exactly> how good new cards being introduced to your favourite game feels. While my personal crack Magic goes through yet another spoiler season for its next release, extraordinarily generous free-to-play RPG/CCG hybrid Card Hunter is conquering new shores as well. For the unfamiliar, it combines a D&D style board game with a paper cut-out aesthetic and collectible elements to create an experience both Adam and Alec have sung the praises of. This first addition promises to bring “tough new campaign battles, bizarre new monsters and powerful new cards” along with some other sweet deets you can find below.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

Bohemia have accomplished what real life scientists and government funding bodies cannot – exploration and colonisation sim Take On Mars now features a manned mission. I hadn’t realised that the previous build of the Early Access version only allowed players to send a probe to the puce planet, but that’s no longer the case.

Today s update lands the first human marsonauts to Take On Mars. With access to a manned science buggy, featuring an interactive 3D GUI, one of their first objectives will be to explore the huge new Cydonia Mensae location, which spans 8×8 kilometer of Martian terrain. A 3D printer enables marsonauts to construct various parts, which can be put together via the Habitat Construction System to form buildings and installations.

The term ‘marsonauts’ dropped in among the other words makes me instinctively shudder, as if I were looking at a sea of human faces and suddenly spotted a Brundlefly.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Now that I’ve got a massive and over-complicated joystick, the only games I’m interested in playing are games which are best-suited to a massive and over-complicated joystick. Yes, yes, I’ll get to Freespace and its total conversions, but first I had some unfinished business to take care of. TIE Fighter was my last substantial experience with Totally Games and Lucasarts’ revered series of Star Wars-themed space combat sims, and I had only a dim sense of how the flighty-fighty games had progressed afterwards. I elected to skip X-Wing vs TIE Fighter and go straight to the end, 1999′s full 3D X-Wing Alliance. … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

“Being lost isn’t scary,” claims the developer description of isometric puzzle adventure Lumo. “It’s an adventure.” I know this from personal experience, given that I have all the directional sense of a windblown band-aid. I’ve been lost in parks, parking garages, parking lots, and places without the word “park” in them (though I suppose you could do parkour on some of the buildings I’ve gotten lost in). I’ve never had the good fortune of losing my way in a mysterious castle, however, nor am I a young wizard. Hmmm. But then, I suppose that’s what videogames are for. That, and fantastic elevator scenes. In psychedelic dream outer space. See it all below.

… [visit site to read more]

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